Funny Movie, Serious Crowdsourcing: Lessons To Learn From Starwars Uncut
As many other people in the past days, you might have seen scenes of the movie "Starwars Uncut", a crowdsourced fan version of the seventh movie in the Starwars series, "Episode IV: A New Hope". And as many other people have already put it via tweets and Youtube-comments, it is horrible and awesome to watch at the same time: The quality is often terrible, the movie will make you burst out laughing — because it's funny, but also because it's embarrassing to watch.
A small idea with a big effect
The project was started by Casey Pugh, a creative technologist who used to work at vimeo.com. He split the movie into more than 470 pieces, each 15 seconds long. Then, every sequence could be claimed, re-acted, re-edited and uploaded by fans all around the world via the project website starwarsuncut.com. There were multiple entries for each sequence, and the ones with the highest rankings were put together into a seamless new fan-version of the film, which you can see here.
“Star Wars Uncut is more — it is completely independent, a work of art by film aficionados around the world" said Brian Stelter in a New York Times article following the Emmy Award ceremony in 2010, where Starwars Uncut won the Primetime Emmy for "Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media — Fiction". And I agree:
starwarsuncut.com inspired thousands of people everywhere to become directors, actors and editors of their own.
It made them produce their own kind of art and consequently, the result is a piece of art too (a funny and crazy one, one should add).
But Starwars Uncut is even more. It is a project that shows how crowdsourcing can work across borders (if not to say around the globe), run over a long period of time (in this case at least several months), produce an impressive result (a movie more than two hours long!) and be a lot of fun all the while.
Now you might say, a Starwars movie is a subject practically destined to become a crowdsourcing success story, given the vast amount of fans everywhere and their formidable dedication to the story, the characters and sheer everything concerning their favourite Science Fiction epic.
But it doesn't hurt to think small: practically every movie has its own fanbase. And just like with movies, every project idea has fans and advocates somewhere. The internet makes it possible to find them and involve them in creative development processes.
Communicate with your audiences at an early stage, find out what their needs are and let THEM show YOU how they can best be answered. Even if your crowdsourcing project doesn't become a self-runner like starwarsuncut.com, those insights can be very useful. And after all, the overall resonance can show you how big the market for your product really is.
This article was written by Lea Weitekamp, who completed her studies in history and philosophy before she considered it time to leave the past behind. She is now one of the visionary communications experts united as ambassadors of digital business at the German agency pr://ip - Primus Inter Pares.
Sign Up to our Newsletter
So you enjoy The NextWomen. Why not sign up to our monthly newsletter?
You get a Letter from the CEO :-), the chance to catch up with the best of our recent articles - and some extra things we throw in once in a while.